BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Kingston Healthcare Center’s future is in jeopardy due to multiple health violations.

In the past, residents have called this place a house of horrors.

“For me, it’s been hell on earth,” Lisa Bennink said about the nursing home.17 News spoke with Bennink at the beginning of the pandemic.

Since then, 17 News has reported on the lengthy and troubling record of the facility. But the problems stem far before coronavirus.

In 2019, Medicare conducted an inspection, highlighting alarming failures and concerns that put elderly residents at risk. It labeled Kingston as the worst facility in Kern County, even saying it’s one of the worst in the state. Its overall score is so low, a rating of “much below average” is too generous.

Medicare reports say the facility has a “history of persistent poor quality of care.” Then coronavirus hit and the problems were exacerbated. More than 100 residents tested positive in the 184-bed home and 19 died.

Now — nearly two years into the pandemic — the the facility’s future is unknown. 17 News obtained a letter from the Department of Health and Human Services saying Medicare and Medicaid will no longer provide funding to Kingston Healthcare Center effective Feb. 6.

It also says it will no longer be recognized as a nursing facility. It laid out 15 violations as the reason, including failing to maintain adequate quality of life and proper infection control.

The notice says the failures were well-documented over 11 surveys in the past six months. Although it doesn’t mean the facility will necessarily shutdown on that day, local experts say it’s likely the facility will have no other choice but to close.

Although this letter does not explicitly say this center is closing down, the future of Kingston Health Center hangs in the balance.

According to the letter, its violations include:

  • Resident Rights
  • Resident Assessments
  • Comprehensive Resident Centered Care Plans
  • Quality of Life
  • Quality of Care
  • Physicians Services
  • Behavioral Health Services
  • Pharmacy Services
  • Laboratory, Radiology and Other Diagnostic Services
  • Dental Services
  • Food and Nutrition Services
  • Administration
  • Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement
  • Infection Control
  • Physical Environment

Kingston declined comment on their plans for the facility.